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Home arrow Opinion arrow Jeff Petersen: ON SECOND THOUGHT arrow Welcome to tax hell


Welcome to tax hell

“It’s income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil and stab yourself in the aorta.”

— Dave Barry

If you’re like me, you look forward to tax time as much as you do to getting burglarized or having a root canal.

That’s especially true since the bailout. Bankers, Wall Street executives and car company bigwigs apparently needed the money more than everyday Americans hard-pressed to afford gas and bread.

Still, I pay my taxes with a smile. The government says it wants money instead.

I just don’t get it.

Even Albert Einstein, the smartest man in the world, failed to understand the income tax.

Taxes are nothing new. They have been the bane of existence ever since the time of Jesus.

“Taxes date all the way back to the year one,” jokes late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel. “Baby Jesus was visited by two wise men and an IRS agent, who demanded half the family’s frankincense.”

Today the government seems to treat tax receipts like Monopoly money. Even the Republicans, who claim to want to reduce taxes, borrow money like they were doing spring break on Boardwalk.

Taxes also make liars out of even some bleeding heart liberals who despite their concern for the poor will fake receipts, look for loopholes and manipulate the system to avoid paying taxes.

You basically have two choices, joked American humorist Will Rogers — be a crook or be a martyr.

I pay my share of taxes. But unlike many people, who wail and gnash their teeth at the “national debt,” I don’t worry about it. It’s not me who is borrowing and spending, it’s my representatives in D.C.

I don’t worry about tax refunds, either. After all, it’s our own money we’re getting back.

Of course, the next generation will inherit a staggering debt ... and Grandma’s doilies.

No matter how many taxes are paid, though, the government will always need more money.

Admittedly, many government services are invaluable. Defending the nation’s shoreline from oil spills. Protecting the food supply. Keeping mad cows in line. That sort of thing.

If more taxes are needed, I suggest targeting sin taxes. — and not just smokes and booze.

We should also have a fast food tax, a doughnut tax, a processed food tax and an Internet porn tax.

We also need a tax on Botox used for cosmetic surgery.

“When Botox users (heard some senators were proposing) this, they were horrified,” late night TV show host Craig Ferguson joked. “Well, I think they were horrified. It’s difficult to tell.”

Don’t get me wrong. I love the IRS. Despite agony over taxes, I know agents are nice people who have dogs that love them.

I have nothing to hide. Knowing the IRS, though, it will search for that nothing and tax me on that. The bankers, Wall Street executives and car company bigwigs need the money.

Reach the author at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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